You may feel that something has to give with all the new protocols, but it really shouldn’t be your internal marketing. It’s easy to let go of Internal marketing without even realizing it, but 80% of your new patient growth comes from your program so it’s imperative this system keeps moving forward.
9 Tips to BOOST your office’s Internal Marketing program:
- Measure your new patient growth – is it consistent with your numbers prior to COVID? You may want to tell yourself that no one is changing dentists now, but I have seen more growth in offices than ever before, patients are using COVID as a reason to be changing offices right now.
- Whenever you have a new patient, are you recording their referral source in a way that can be measured so you can ensure your efforts are being directed in the most effective way?
- Thank patients who are referring friends or family with a handwritten thank you card.
- Are you letting patients know that you are welcoming referrals? Many patients think that dental offices are like doctor’s offices and have limits for patients. There is no better patient for the dentist than a referred patient.
- Asking the patients directly for a referral is never comfortable. It is much easier if the patient gives you a compliment first or the patient compliments the office and whomever is the receiver of the compliment then would say “ _______________, we love having patients like you in our practice. Always feel free to send friends or family to us because we are sure that they will be great patients just like you.”
- Many offices had previously set up programs in their practices with referral cards being given to patients or Refer a Friend pamphlets but at this time I would discourage giving patients any extra take home articles from the practice. Instead, I would suggest a follow up email with patients that are more personalized.
- I can’t say enough that patient loyalty, relationship building, and trust will be the best way to stimulate new internal referrals. The dental services you provide are not the only great things you need to do. Your team needs to work as well, to build caring and compassionate relationships with patients. Ensure that you and your entire team are spending time with your patients with more concern than just their oral health.
- Ensure that all of your systems are patient friendly not just what works best for the office with special thought to your payment options. You can ask patients what method of contact is most effective for them, keep track of this information and then follow through with it. Patients will feel that they have been “heard” with this system.
- I used to dislike the word dental home, but I have come to embrace it, just like in the TV show Cheers – as a patient you want to go where everyone knows your name. Patients want the sense of familiarity, comfort even through all of the PPE.
Remember to always look at your practice through the eyes of your patient to ensure you are fulfilling their needs as well as the needs of your practice. Implementing some of these suggestions can be difficult, but it is always easy to connect with me and ask questions. Let’s connect and talk about your practice’s Internal Marketing program.